FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.Are there any skin conditions where you would advise against having treatment?
Electrolysis can only be performed on a healthy skin. If there is any evidence of a skin disease or disorder in the treatable area then treatment may not commence. Some conditions may prevent treatment until the skin has healed e.g. cold sores, eczema or active acne etc. Some conditions may prevent treatment such as vitiligo. During the consultation the area to be treated will be assessed and in some cases the electrologist may require written consent from your Doctor prior to treatment.
2.Can I give blood during a course of treatments?
It is safe to give blood as an electrolysis client as all materials are sterilsed and disposable. Although, when donating the nurse may suggest that you have to wait 12 months following your last treatment. It is advisable to check with your blood donation centre first.
3.Can I still have electrolysis if I’m pregnant?
It is possible to have an electrolysis treatment during pregnancy as the tiny amounts of current used will not affect the pregnancy. Although you may find that salon/clinics will not offer treatment during the first trimester. There are 2 methods of electrolysis mainly offered in salons today, the blend method and short wave diathermy. The blend method allows the current to flow through the body and short wave diathermy remains at the tip of the needle. Some salons/clinics may prefer to offer short wave diathermy only to pregnant clients.
4.Can I treat a client with a pacemaker?
Unfortunately electrolysis is not offered to clients with a pacemaker. This is for the safety of the client. Electrolysis uses an electrical current to treat the hair and this could affect the pacemaker. Some pacemakers are insulated and it is possible to offer the treatment. Firstly, it is advisable to obtain a letter of consent from both the G.P. and the pacemaker manufacturer. Also check that your insurance will cover you.
5.Can someone with dental fillings or braces still have an electrolysis treatment?
There are 2 methods of electrolysis offered, short wave diathermy and the blend method. When using the blend method there may be a metallic taste experienced in the mouth. With excess fillings or metal braces the short wave diathermy method maybe preferred.
6.I regularly go to the gym and go swimming. How long will it be following treatment before I can resume these activities?
No problem. We usually recommend that swimming (if in a public pool) gets a night off while the skin calms down to ensure no minor infection can happen. If the skin has returned to normal and is not hot or warm, sore, pink or red and no sign of any swelling then there should be no problem. Your electrologist will advise you during the initial consultation.
7.I’m going abroad in 2 weeks’ time can I have electrolysis before I go?
This depends on where you are going, the area that you are having treated and the density of the hair growth in this area. Holidays, even sunbathing beach holidays, should be fine, as long as the skin has fully recovered from treatment and there’s no sign of sensitivity. Your electrologist will advise you following a skin analysis and knowing your medical history. For example, if you are a heavy smoker or a diabetic you may heal slower and this must be taken into account.
8.How do the results from laser compare to the results from electrolysis?
Both laser and electrolysis are very effective for removing superfluous hair. Although they both have their uses electrolysis is the only proven permanent method of hair removal. Laser hair removal does have its limitations. The laser is attracted to the pigment within the hair, therefore white hair is difficult to treat. Hair growth as a result of a hormonal imbalance is also difficult to treat. The hair density can be reduced greatly but it is necessary to continue with electrolysis to obtain further results.
9.How long before a result can be seen?
Length of treatment depends on the hair growth problem that presents itself to the electrologist. The area worked upon must not be over treated and the client’s skin reactivity must be taken into account. Spacing between hairs and treatments will be carefully considered in a treatment plan by the electrologist as well as taking into account your requirements, needs and wishes. Electrologists meet a full spectrum of clients with various needs; from the mature client with fine vellus hair on the upper lip which may require a 10 minute fortnightly appointment and whose superfluous hair will be cleared within 6 months, to the polycystic ovary client who may require regular electrolysis for up to 2 years or more. Treatments are offered in the salon or clinic from 15 minutes up to 1-2 hour per session+. Rates vary through out the UK ranging from £15.00 upwards for a 15 minute appointment, depending on area/location and experience.
10.How many treatments do I need to permanently remove my unwanted hair?
Electrolysis is the only proven permanent method of hair removal and is a progressive method of hair removal meaning that it requires a course of treatments. Each individual hair is treated repeatedly as gently as possible so the hair becomes weaker and no tissue damage is caused. The cause of hair growth will influence the amount of treatments required. A treatment plan will be discussed with your electrologist during a full consultation giving you some indication of the commitment required to obtain the desired results.
11.l’ve been having electrolysis for a few weeks and I feel that the hair growth is getting worse. Is this possible?
At the start of a course of electrolysis it is possible for the hair growth to ‘appear’ worse. This is because the hair growth must be left to grow for the electrologist to treat. Prior to electrolysis clients remove the existing hair by tweezing, waxing or threading. As this process is carried out frequently the full extent of the hair growth problem is not shown. When the electrologist asks the client to stop using temporary methods of hair removal, as this can interfere with the results, all the hair is allowed to grow causing the problem to appear worse.
12.Are there any side effects of treatment?
When electrolysis is performed correctly by a skilled electrologist it is perfectly safe. On a first appointment it is important for the salon/clinic to complete a full consultation checking all medical history for any reason why a treatment can not be performed. Following a treatment the electrologist will go through the aftercare advice and apply a soothing aftercare gel. It’s important for the client to follow the advice to prevent any unwanted reaction.
13.Do you have unwanted hair?
Unwanted hair is a common problem affecting most women to varying degrees throughout their lives and promoting the use of various temporary methods of hair reduction or hair management systems. However electrolysis is still the only proven permanent method of hair removal and many women and indeed many men, have benefitted from this tried and trusted treatment.
14.Does electrolysis hurt?
Electrolysis can be a little uncomfortable for many people but others can fall asleep during treatment. During an electrolysis treatment, a tiny sterile probe is introduced into the opening of the hair follicle. A small burst of energy is released at the base of the follicle and a sensation will be experienced like a tingle, heat or a minor sting. Everyone has their own individual pain threshold which can be affected by a number of factors:
1)Individual pain thresholds-this can be affected by health, stress, time of menstruation etc.
2) Area to be treated
3) Strength and size of hair
4) Skin sensitivity
5) Type of current used
One thing that you can depend on is electrolysis works so any minor discomfort is well worth the results.
15.How does electrolysis compare to Laser or IPL hair removal?
Electrolysis remains the only method allowed by the Beauty Industry’s Governing Bodies to claim that it offers ‘permanent’ hair removal. It is also defined in the BMA’s ‘Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia’ as the only means of permanent removal. First invented in 1875 and initially used for in growing eyelashes by ophthalmologist Charles E Michel, it has progressed a long way in over a century with ongoing improvements and modern technology it is a safe, comfortable, effective treatment still very much in demand with clients today. Nearly all areas of the body and types of hair can be successfully treated. Laser and IPL alongside social convention, pressure and expectations have resulted in more varied treatment areas being presented to the electrologist. Laser/IPL with their capability of treating large areas has resulted in electrolysis now being utilised to complete these treatments where laser/IPL is unable to finish the job. In fact electrolysis, laser and IPL work hand in hand for the benefit of the client. Often white hairs remain after laser or IPL and electrologists can successfully remove these where laser and IPL can not.
Any laser or IPL operator who is trained as an electrologist has an advantage as her underpinning knowledge regarding the skin and hair is second to none. She also has the advantage of being able to use each method, for the benefit of the client, either individually or combined.
16.How hygienic is the treatment?
Ballet sterile disposable probes are used to totally eliminate any risk of cross infection. For each client a brand new sterile probe is used and you will usually see the individually packed sterile probe being opened in front of you. Electrolysisis offered by most Beauty Salons and Clinics of today as a safe, effective, comfortable treatment for every client with varying hair growths.
17.How long does a typical treatment last?
For electrolysis there is no ‘typical’ treatment as all clients are treated as individuals. Treatments can vary from a short 10 minute appointment up to a 2-3 hours+ depending upon the area being treated. All treatment planning will be discussed on the day of the consultation. During your consultation you are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible so you are informed correctly about your course of treatments.
18.What actually happens in an electrolysis treatment?
A very fine disposable sterile needle or probe, about the size of a small eyelash, is introduced into the individual hair follicle to the correct depth and a small amount of current is released. This eventually destroys the root of the hair by cutting off the blood supply which feeds the hair starving it of nourishment and nutrients. As a result of this the hair becomes finer with often lighter hair growth and eventual demise of the hair. The ability of the hair follicle to produce a hair is destroyed rather than the hair itself.
19.What is advanced electrolysis? Is it better than electrolysis?
Advanced electrolysis uses the same tools and equipment as electrolysis but the procedure is slightly different. Electrolysis, or epilation, treats unwanted hair. Advanced electrolysis (aka Advanced Cosmetic Procedures or ACP) successfully treats thread veins, skin tags, milk spots, blood spots, various warts, moles and other unwanted skin lesions. Qualified electrologists or medical practitioners can train to offer ACP.
20.What is the Blend method?
The Blend method of electrolysis uses both a high frequency and direct current. Both currents travel down to the base of the follicle via a very fine sterile disposable probe (similar size to a small eyelash). The insertion does not penetrate the skin as the follicle is an opening in the skin which houses the hair. The small probe is introduced alongside the hair and stops at the bottom of the follicle.
The current is released for 5 seconds like a short burst of energy. This method is often reported to be the most comfortable and the most effective.
21.What is the Short Wave Diathermy method?
Short Wave Diathermy is a method of electrolysis using a high frequency current. The current travels down to the base of the follicle via a very fine short sterile disposable probe (similar size to a small eyelash). The insertion does not penetrate the skin as the follicle is an opening in the skin which houses the hair. The small probe is introduced alongside the hair and stops at the bottom of the follicle. The current is released like a short burst of energy in the form of warmth. The benefits of this method are: quickness and suitable for all skin types (except pigmented skins).
22.What will happen on the first appointment?
You will have a thorough consultation to ensure if treatment is suitable for you and which method is best for you. You will have a chance to ask questions about the treatment and to experience a taster’ session. Your therapist will discuss with you a ‘treatment plan’. Following this initial consultation you should be able to decide if and when you would like treatment to commence.
23.Why is it necessary to commit to a course of treatments?
Each hair requires more than one treatment because each individual hair has its own growing cycle and blood supply. Electrolysis works by weakening the hair and eventually destroying it. Courses of treatment are therefore imperative. Results take a little more time, similar to dieting it’s not the crash diet but the healthy eating plan that works in the long run.
24.Will all the hair present be removed at my visit to the salon?
The amount of hair present, the skin type and the density of the hair growth affects the amount of hair that will be treated on the day. If the hairs are sparse they can be treated in one treatment. The amount of hairs that require treatment will affect how long the appointment is scheduled for. E.g. if the client has several hairs on the jaw line that are quite spaced out it will probably be a 10-15 minute appointment and all hairs will be treated. If the hair is dense in a small area on the corners of the top lip it may still be a 10-15 minute appointment but to avoid over treatment not all hairs can be removed. The skin will be sensitive following a treatment and therefore to allow the skin to heal naturally not all hairs in one area are treated.
The client can return in the week, depending upon healing rate, to have the remaining hairs removed. All this will be discussed on the initial consultation when you and the electrologist agree on a treatment plan.
25.Can I use an antiseptic cream on my skin after electrolysis?
Your electrologist will recommend the correct aftercare product for you. These are available within the salon/clinic at an affordable cost. It is important to use a product specifically formulated and tried and tested for after electrolysis to soothe, calm and protect the skin. Antiseptic creams can be too heavy for the skin and could cause an adverse reaction as the heat is unable to escape.
26.Can I wear make-up immediately after treatment to cover the mild redness?
Immediately after treatment the skin will be sensitised. Sterex have a specially formulated Apres cream containing pigment to help mask the redness. This product is specifically designed to soothe the skin and will not cause an unwanted reaction that may be triggered by the use of make-up. Make-up must be avoided for 24-48 hours.
27.What can I do with the hairs between treatments?
There may be some hair growth between treatments. If the appointment is not within the next few days you must arrange with your electrologist to bring your appointments closer together. If you are unable to attend an appointment and you have hair growth you may only trim the hairs. This will clear the hair temporarily without interfering with the root of the hair and affecting results. Tweezing, threading and waxing must be avoided during a course of electrolysis.
28.What is the aftercare advice?
All reputable electrologists will go through the aftercare advice following an electrolysis treatment. The skin may be sensitive with open follicles potentially allowing bacteria to enter, therefore applying a Sterex aftercare product to the immediate area will aid healing of the skin and prevent adverse reaction(s).
Aftercare advice recommended for the 1st 48 hours following treatment will include:
1) Avoid soap and perfumed products
2) Avoid sunbathing
3) Avoid picking or touching the area
4) Avoid swimming, steam rooms and saunas
5) Avoid further heat treatments to the immediate area
6) Wash hands and apply aftercare product to the area using fresh cotton wool
7) Avoid all temporary methods of hair removal except trimming
8) Keep up with appointments to obtain desired results